"Be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." --1 Corinthians 15:58, NLT
I'd imagine that most Christians go through a season of discouragement, wondering, Why am I doing this? Does my work for God even matter? Does it make any difference?
I've asked these questions a lot. My blog is the perfect example of the downward spiral that can occur when I question the value of my work. I began blogging in 2006 and was consistent at posting weekly for three years. Then grad school kept me from writing regularly for a couple years. After graduation, my time seemed to fill up with a variety of other projects. Really, it was other excuses, driven by the question, Why should I keep writing about God and faith on a blog that nobody reads?
I've barely posted in the past couple years, and I figured this site was pretty much abandoned by now. So I was shocked to see that my site has been receiving an average of 500 visitors a month during the past year. Even more amazing, folks are still spending a good deal of time reading posts that were written five or six years ago.
It's hard to believe that God has a purpose for every word that I write, but I know it's true. It's not that every word I write is gold, or even that every word will affect another person. In fact, it's probable that some of my writing will never be noticed or read by anyone else. Yet God has a purpose for all of my work. It may be to change my heart, or to teach me to trust him, or to build the disciplines of obedience and perseverance--the greatest beneficiary of my work might be me!
So I must obediently, humbly do whatever God asks of me. I'm so thankful for the Apostle Paul's encouraging words in the above verse that were written nearly 2,000 years ago. I'm thankful that my pastor passed along these good words in his sermon this past Sunday. And I'm thankful that God has encouraged me today by showing me that my words and work continue to be useful.
Lord, help me to work enthusiastically, remembering that all of my work is for you, to bring glory to you. Help me to be obedient, even when I can't see the impact that my work has on others. Help me to recognize that work is an important part of my own spiritual growth.